Cat Pulling Hair Out: Causes, Prevention & Treatment

cat pulling hair out

Just imagine:

Your beloved feline friend, once a picture of health and happiness, is now incessantly pulling out its own hair. 🐱

It's a sight that fills your heart with worry and your mind with a whirlwind of questions.

Is it in pain?

Is there something seriously wrong?

The thought of your furry companion suffering is enough to bring tears to your eyes.

But fear not, my fellow cat lovers, for help is within reach.

Let's uncover the mystery together.

Why Is My Cat Pulling Her Hair Out?

Cats going bald from hair-pulling?

Yep, it happens. 😿

Now, let me introduce myself as a cat lover who's seen it all.

Alright, here's the deal.

There could be a few reasons why your cat is pulling her own fur out.

She might be bored or not getting enough entertainment. Other times, there might be pesky issues like allergies or parasites driving her nuts.

To prevent your furry pal from losing her locks, try some environmental enrichment.

Get her puzzle toys or organize interactive play sessions to keep her occupied and interested.

Also, gotta consider itchy skin. That's a big reason for hair-pulling.

Why Is My Cat Pulling Her Hair Out?
Your cat might be yanking her fur out because she's bored, hassled by allergies or itching, stressed out, or not feeling at ease with the current surroundings.

Allergies, infections, or even parasites can push your cat towards that crazy behavior.

And hey, don't forget about stress and changes in the environment.

Those little troublemakers can also lead to cats pulling their hair out.

And nobody wants a stressed-out kitty.

So, next time you see your cat rocking the "cueball" look, remember these reasons for her madness.

Your fluffy buddy will appreciate it!

In my experience as a cat lover, I've seen cats go bald from hair-pulling.

If you're worried about your cat's wellness, I recommend checking out Why Is My Cat Losing Its Whiskers.

In my helpful blog post, you'll find possible reasons for your furry friend's hair loss.

What Is Feline Psychogenic Alopecia?

Feline psychogenic alopecia is a serious matter, my dear readers.

Let me explain it to you.

Psychogenic alopecia occurs when this repeated behavior completely consumes your cat's life.

It's as if they just can't resist the urge to groom themselves constantly.

But why does this happen?

Well, let me tell you, stress plays a huge role here.

Cats that live in multi-cat households or are confined indoors for the whole day are particularly susceptible to this hair-pulling frenzy.

And hold on, it gets even more interesting...

Certain cat breeds are more prone to wandering down this hairy road compared to others.

What Is Feline Psychogenic Alopecia?
Your cat may start pulling out its fur if it's feeling stressed or bored. It's their way of dealing with emotions, but that can leave them with bald spots. You can help by redirecting their focus and giving them things to do.

So if you happen to have one of those breeds at home, be extra vigilant.

Now, I know what you must be wondering.

What can you do to help?

That's an excellent question!

There are various behavioral therapy techniques worth exploring.

You could try redirecting your cat's attention with toys or employ positive reinforcement training to divert their attention from this incessant grooming madness.

You see, cats are experts at comforting themselves through grooming.

They use it as a way to cope with stress, anxiety, or changes in their surroundings.

It would be wise for you to find ways to alleviate that stress and provide them with healthier activities to distract their busy minds.

Together, we shall conquer this troubling issue!

When Is Self-Grooming Considered “Not Normal”?

When it comes to your cat’s grooming habits, it’s critical to know what’s normal and what’s not.

Keep an eye out for signs of compulsive grooming in cats. This can include excessive licking or pulling out fur until bald patches appear. 😺

If you notice these behaviors, it may be a sign of underlying medical conditions such as allergies, pain, skin infections, or parasite infestation.

When Is Self-Grooming Considered “Not Normal”?
If you spot your cat yanking out its fur, that ain't normal. We're talking creepy crawlies (ugh!), allergies, or some serious hurt. Don't worry yourself sick, go get a vet's opinion on what's up and possible fixes. Your fuzzy pal will be mighty grateful, savvy?

Allergy triggers can vary from environmental factors to insects, certain foods, or stress from sudden changes.

In addition, skin conditions like acne and dermatitis can cause hair-pulling, often evident as a bald or irritated patch under the cat’s chin.

Weather, day-to-day injuries, and allergies can also contribute to excessive grooming behavior.

If your cat exhibits these grooming habits and experiences bald patches and irritation, don’t hesitate to consult a veterinarian for further examination and potential treatment.

Understanding when self-grooming is considered “not normal” can help ensure your cat’s overall well-being.

Why Do Cats Groom Themselves?

Keeping your cat's coat clean is essential, but grooming also fosters a natural and healthy habit. When cats groom themselves, they distribute natural oils and reduce moisture on their skin.

This self-grooming process helps them regulate their body temperature effectively.

Regular grooming sessions are crucial in preventing matting, which can cause discomfort and potential skin issues.

Cats instinctively know that grooming maintains their hygiene and cleanliness.

So, join them in this beneficial activity and show them some love by assisting them when necessary.

Causes of Clumped Fur in Cats

Fur clumping in cats can indicate underlying health or behavioral issues.

Why Does My Cat’s Fur Clump Up?
If your cat's fur is clumping, it could be because you're over-grooming them, they have dry skin, their undercoat is shedding, they're a little oily or dirty, they might be stressed, or possibly even sick. Keep an eye out for signs of stress or illness, and make sure to give them a diet full of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids while also regularly giving them a good grooming.

Here are some reasons why your cat's fur may be clumping:

  1. Excessive grooming: Over-grooming can lead to hairballs, which cause fur to clump together.
  2. Dry skin: Poor nutrition lacking essential fatty acids can result in dry skin and a dull coat, leading to hair clumps.
  3. Shedding of the undercoat: As cats shed their undercoat, loose hair can form into large furballs and cause clumping.
  4. Oiliness or dirt: If your cat is oily or dirty, hair loss in clumps may occur, causing the fur to stick together.
  5. Stress or illness: Avoiding grooming might signal an underlying issue, such as stress or illness, that needs attention.

To prevent fur clumping, ensure your cat has a balanced diet with sufficient omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

Regular grooming and checking for any signs of stress or illness are also crucial.

And as I continue to delve into the possible reasons for your cat's fur clumping, I can't ignore the fact that age and cognitive decline may also play a significant role in this behavior...

Why Is My Elderly Cat Pulling Fur Out?

Possible Reasons for Elderly Cat Hair PullingHow to Address the Issue
Cognitive declineProvide mental stimulation through interactive toys or puzzle feeders. Consider environmental enrichment to keep the cat engaged.
Skin parasitesRegularly check for fleas, ticks, or mites. Consult a veterinarian for appropriate treatments.
Genetic predispositionRegular grooming and brushing can help minimize hair loss.
ArthritisProvide comfortable and easily accessible resting areas. Consider using soft bedding or heated pads to ease joint pain.
HyperthyroidismConsult a veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment options.
Obsessive grooming tendenciesIdentify and address underlying causes of stress or anxiety. Engage the cat in interactive play to redirect their focus.

As cats age, they can develop jumping joeys...oops, I meant feline dementia or senility.

It's like your cat's brain is going on a vacation.

And let me tell ya, it's not always pretty.

One side effect of this decline is obsessive-compulsive behaviors. Yep, your cat might start pulling out their fur as if it were Thanksgiving minus the drumlin...

But that's not all you gotta watch out for.

Some cat breeds, those snazzy purebred oriental ones, are more likely to experience hair loss. It's in their genes, much like liking warm milk and a sunny spot by the window.

Alongside genetics, yucky creepy crawlies can have a say in it too.

Why Is My Elderly Cat Pulling Fur Out?
If your old cat's fur keeps getting yanked, it could be from feline dementia, breed habits, creepy crawly bugs, or hidden illnesses. You can give your furry friend a mental boost with toys and fun times, and get the lowdown from a vet to tackle any health problems.

Skin parasites such as fleas, lice, ticks, and mites may provoke your cat to get rid of its silky coat.

Now let's not leave our purr-fect little companions high and dry.

If you want to help your elderly buddy out, try keeping them mentally stimulated with interactive toys and regular playtime. That way, instead of being hair-pullers, they become champion toy chasers and hunters!

Think arthritis and hyperthyroidism only come for us humans?

Think again!

These conditions are more common in older cats and can make them go fur wild.

So be sure to pay attention if flu-like symptoms emerge—it could be something more than just excessive cuddling in the winter season.

And, if you suspect allergies may be behind your elderly cat's hair loss, you should identify and eliminate potential triggers before considering additional treatment options:

Treatment for Cat Pulling Hair Out

When it comes to treating cat hair loss, you have a few options.

But before you try anything else, you need to figure out what might be causing the problem.

Allergies are a common culprit, so you should see if there are any foods, plants, or cleaning products that could be triggering a reaction.

To get to the bottom of things, your vet will gather some info about your cat's background and medical history. Then they'll give your furry friend a once-over and maybe run some tests to pinpoint the cause of the hair loss.

There are a bunch of things that could be behind it, like hyperthyroidism, cancer, heart disease, or diabetes.

Or it could be something simpler, like flea allergies, bacterial infections, parasites, or other illnesses.

Either way, you ought to address the hair loss as soon as possible.

Depending on the cause, your vet might recommend anti-inflammatory meds, ways to reduce stress, special diets, or even medications specifically prescribed for your furball.

And don't forget about keeping your cat relaxed and happy. You can use artificial calming pheromones, ensure they're in a stable environment, and ask your vet about antidepressants if necessary.

Finding out exactly what's causing the hair loss is key to getting the right treatment.

So ensure to talk with your vet and come up with a plan tailored to your furry pal.

Allow me to drive this home: There's more crucial information coming up further down the blog post about what you should do when your cat is pulling out its hair. Keep reading to find out!

But what if addressing the underlying cause isn't enough?

Well, I have a solution for you!

In the next section, I'll reveal a clever trick to keep your cat's focus away from self-grooming and reduce their anxiety levels.

Trust me, you won't want to miss it!

Effective Ways to Stop Your Cat from Pulling Her Hair Out

Introduce new activities to keep your cat occupied

If your cat is feeling stressed and pulling her hair out, it's time for you to step in and help.

Don't worry, I've got some tricks up my sleeve that can make a big difference.

First, let's talk about environmental enrichment activities. These are simple ways to keep your kitty's mind engaged so she doesn't resort to pulling out her hair.

You can try hiding food treats around the house for her to find, like a fun scavenger hunt just for cats!

Another option is using puzzle feeders, which will make her work a little harder for her dinner.

Spend quality time playing with your cat

When was the last time you really indulged in some quality playtime with your furry friend?

Cats sometimes pull out their hair when they're feeling stressed or anxious.

By offering them new toys and spending time playing together, not only are you providing mental stimulation, but also distracting them from their worries.

Grab that laser pointer or feather wand toy, and have yourself a good old-fashioned play session with your cat. You'll be amazed at how much it boosts their mood and helps prevent hair-pulling.

Promote overall well-being for your feline companion

Alongside all these fun activities, don't forget the importance of your cat's in essence well-being in stopping hair pulling.

Creating a comfortable and stress-free environment where she feels safe and secure is essential.

Furthermore, consider exploring natural remedies specifically designed for cats, such as pheromone diffusers or supplements. These can help alleviate stress and anxiety, reducing the likelihood of hair-pulling behavior.

A happy cat is a cat with healthy fur. So start implementing these strategies today, and watch your feline friend thrive!

And it gets better:

While environmental factors and stress are common causes of hair-pulling in cats, there could also be underlying medical conditions that contribute to this behavior.

In the next section, we'll explore the importance of regular veterinary checkups and how they can help identify and treat any health issues that may be affecting your cat.

Don't miss out on these crucial insights!

What Should I Do?

If your cat is yanking out their precious fur, here's what you can do:

  1. Make sure to visit the vet regularly to sniff out any underlying health troubles.
  2. Jot down any odd changes in their behavior and grooming habits.
  3. Check if they're shedding weight along with the hair, as it might indicate some health snags.
  4. Don't hesitate to reach out to the vet if the hair-pulling continues or gets worse.
  5. Keep that furry chin area spick and span to avoid cat acne and bald patches.
  6. Tidy up the chin with a warm compress or a dainty toothbrush stroke.
  7. Examine for any boo-boos like scrapes that could be triggering non-stop self-grooming and inflammation.
  8. Stay on high alert for signs of allergies or irritants that could be fueling the hair-pulling frenzy.
  9. Ensure your lovely feline has plenty of playthings and mental stimulation.
  10. Chat it out with your vet to crack the potential causes and get sound advice.

By following these steps and teaming up with your vet, you'll help your kitty get back to their old self and halt the hair-pulling madness.


Key takeaways:

  1. The most common reason for cats pulling out their hair is itchiness caused by underlying factors such as allergies or parasites.
  2. Itchy skin, hypersensitivities, parasites, and infections can all lead to hair-pulling behavior in cats.
  3. Cats have shedding seasons, but abnormal shedding can be caused by allergies, parasites, environmental changes, or breed.
  4. Skin parasites like fleas, lice, ticks, and mites can cause itchy skin and fur loss in cats.
  5. Allergies can cause itching, rashes, and hair loss, with miliary dermatitis being a common skin condition associated with allergies.
  6. Changes in the environment can lead to stress in cats, resulting in fur-pulling and weight loss.
  7. Feline Psychogenic Alopecia, a compulsive behavior linked to stress, can cause excessive grooming and hair pulling, particularly in multi-cat households and indoor cats.
  8. Excessive grooming and hair loss can be signs of underlying issues such as pain, allergies, infections, or parasite infestation.
  9. Grooming is a natural habit for cats to keep clean and maintain hygiene.
  10. Clumps of fur can indicate an increased risk of hairballs, shedding of the undercoat, or hair loss due to oiliness or dirtiness in cats.
  11. Certain cat breeds may be genetically predisposed to fur loss, and older cats are more susceptible to certain medical conditions.
  12. Treatment for hair-pulling includes diagnosing and addressing the underlying cause, which can involve medical conditions, allergies, parasites, or skin conditions.
  13. Treatment plans vary depending on the underlying cause and may involve anti-inflammatory medications, stress reduction techniques, specialized diets, and medication prescribed by a veterinarian.
  14. Managing stress and anxiety in cats can be achieved through playtime, offering new toys, using artificial calming pheromones, and maintaining a stable environment.
  15. Regular veterinary check-ups are essential to address potential health problems and prevent complications.

And that wraps up today's article.

If you wish to read more of my useful articles, I recommend you check out some of these: Is Catnip Safe for Pregnant Nursing Cats, My Cat Has Worms How Do I Clean My House, Why Is My Cats Nose Turning Black, Cat Has Diarrhea After Giving Birth, and Green Cat Poop

Talk soon,

-Sarah Davis

Sarah Davis

Howdy howdy, I'm Sarah Davis, and I'm all about cats – that's right, those mysterious, independent furballs we adore. So welcome to my blog "I Care for Cats", where I dish out the real talk on cat food, health, training, behavior, and so much more. My goal? To help your feline friends live their best nine lives.